LGBT rights in Tokelau

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StatusLegal since 2007[1]
Gender identityNo
MilitaryNew Zealand's responsibility
Discrimination protectionsNo
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsNo

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Tokelau may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Tokelau, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples.[1]


Tokelau, similarly to Samoa, the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Niue and other Polynesian states, possesses a traditional and cultural third gender population. Such individuals are known in Tokelauan as the fakafāfine. Fakafāfine are assigned male at birth but dress, act and behave as female. People living as this gender role have traditionally been accepted by Tokelauan society.[2][3][4]

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in Tokelau since 2007.[1]

Recognition of same-sex unions[edit]

Same-sex unions are not recognized (even though they are in New Zealand).

Living conditions[edit]

Much like the rest of Polynesia, open displays of affection between partners regardless of sexual orientation may offend.[5]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 2007)
Equal age of consent Yes (Since 2007)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriages No
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military Yes (New Zealand's responsibility)
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]